Guide to Influencer Marketing for E-commerce
“Real influencers do not sway our decisions because of how high they score on a digital scale. They do because they make their stories relevant to us. Real influencers know that their success lies in the way they deliver their promises.”- Cendrine Marrouat
(Co-founder, Auroras & Blossoms)
Is influencer marketing for e-commerce?
Do influencer marketing and e-commerce go hand in hand?
Can you use Influencer marketing to grow your E-commerce business?
Is it really worth it?
Well, these and many other questions surround the idea of using influencer marketing for an e-commerce business. We thought of curating a guide to resolve this very scepticism. So, here’s everything you need to know about influencer marketing for e-commerce.
1. Is Influencer Marketing For E-Commerce?
The biggest contributing factor associated with the word influencer is trust.
Trust is the factor that drives marketing and sales. In today’s world of rapid customer acquisition, customers no longer wish to hear and act on a mundane sales pitch. Consumers have become more aware than ever, and look forward to buying genuine stories and relations. It is all about building trust and rapport with your audience, and eventually, getting them down the sales funnel.
What do you think McDonald’s sells? Good Food? No. It sells happy meals. It sells the experience of having a happy, fulfilling meal.
As Seth Godin puts it, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.”
In this world of infinite possibilities for product development, customers are confused and that is exactly the place where Influencer marketing can pitch in. An Adweek report shows that in 2016, a whopping 40% of people purchased a product after seeing an influencer recommend it on YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook. Another study showed that while only 1% of millennia trust advertisements to purchase something, about 33% of them read blog reviews before making a purchase.
The profit level of this type of marketing is high, too, with a study by Tomson concluding that it yields $6.50 ROI on every dollar spent. Influencer marketing is all about making connections, and in an e-commerce business, where you interact directly with your target audience, influencer marketing can just be a cherry on the cake.
2. The Impact of Influencer Marketing on E-commerce
Is the Internet going to be there? Is social media going to be there?
The answer to both of them would be a resounding YES! They aren’t going anywhere, so influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere either. With time, its only objective is to expand. The future of influencer marketing looks promising, and with smartphones and social media penetrating every sector of our lives, influencer marketing is here to stay.
An influencer marketing campaign, depending on its planning, and execution can break or make your brand, boost ROI, and increase brand awareness. It leverages the basic tenet of human connection of trust and authenticity. As long as both the internet and social media rule the hearts and minds of the consumer, e-commerce brands can use influencers to influence customers’ emotions towards a particular product.
Influencers in today’s age are the perfect channels to bring brand awareness and increase sales. Now it’s time to merge your influencer partnership with your larger marketing goals. Here are 9 ways that can help you craft a successful influencer marketing strategy.
3. 9 Ways To Craft A Successful Influencer Marketing Strategy For Your E-Commerce Business
1. Set Objectives
Success begins with planning, and hence having a set of objectives for the campaign is the most important task as it will prepare you to work on the subsequent steps to estimate the effectiveness of your campaign. In this type of marketing, you are essentially using someone else’s developed audience to build a market for your own, so you need to set certain objectives for the influencer to have an idea on creating something that would cater to the needs of your and their audience alike.
Before handing over the task, you need to make a thorough assessment of the audience of the influencer, which would then tell you if you can do what you intend to do, and then finally, you can communicate to the influencer about what you want from them.
2. Select Your Audience Niche
Now that you are aware of your objectives, goals, and the type of campaign you wish to run, it’s time to study your target audience. You need to know your audience inside out to understand which influencer would be the perfect choice to market your brand.
Once you know this, now you can list them down as to who you want to connect to and prepare a buyer persona outlining the demographic and psychographic demarcation, which you can then use to search for your influencer.
3. Search For The Right Influencer
It is important to study and research the influencer to understand if they are a good fit for your brand. Certain metrics can help you analyze the influencer. Make sure you check all their social media handles thoroughly and conclude if they can help you yield desired results. Remember, the influencer you would choose would represent your brand. Hence you need to find out if their niche and persona go along with your brand’s image and values.
Not only records, but you also need to keep an eye on the types of issues they engage with and if that would affect the value of your brand adversely. Moreover, you need to check out the genuine reach of the influencer and if their followers are completely real.
Collaborating with micro and nano-influencers can be a great choice too since these types of influencers have a very close set of audiences with whom they share a personal bond.
4. Craft Attractive Outreach Offers
Crafting a perfect outreach message is essential as it will make influencers take notice. You need to zero in on customer influencers, which could lead to less time spent on the selection process and a greater ROI.
Also, search for organic influencers as they will have greater brand affinity and hence would have a psychological factor for connecting with you. You would probably leverage this to cut down on your marketing costs too. While crafting your message, make sure to start with a ‘Thank You’ note and then pitch in your offer for collaboration with all your objectives outlined and the incentives you are willing to offer.
Try to add a dash of personal touch to your message either with any of their purchases with your brand or any other piece of purchase information.
5. Planning The Campaign
The influencer’s loyalty to your brand could be your biggest asset while planning the campaign. What could be better than an influential customer promoting your brand in this era where everyone demands authenticity? So try to be as authentic as possible in your influencer campaign.
Since they would have used the brand, they would have loads of memories to share. The influencers can give honest reviews about your product leading to both increased trust and product awareness.
Also, remember that studies after studies have established that more than 70% of customers prefer to know and learn about a product through video format. So try to build video content in your campaign. You can collaborate with them through a slew of campaigns. Some examples of types of influencer marketing campaigns can be.
- Influencer Control: In this type of marketing, the influencer takes over control of the brand’s social media pages for a certain period.
- Sponsorships: You pay the influencer to get your brand featured.
- Gifts: Here, you give the influencer any free service or product, and they mention you in return.
- Guest Posting: You are allowed to create something for the influencer’s social media pages.
- Affiliate marketing: You provide a code unique to the influencer, and if they drive a sale where that code is used, the influencer receives a percentage of the sale.
- Creative Collaboration: This is where you collaborate with the influencer and create something that gets featured on your page and their pages.
6. Monitor ROI
- Number of sales generated through website visits
- Number of newsletter sign-ups
- Number of sales generated through affiliate links
- Increase in engagement using hashtags
These are some of the metrics you can use to measure the success of your campaign. You can either measure these manually or use campaign management tools to do this part. It’s important to track your progress to decide your future course of action with the influencers. The priority is to build a long-term relationship with the influencer in order to yield maximum results over a longer period of time.
Seeing an influencer talk about a brand a number of times would help to build trust and promote brand awareness organically.
7. Work On Your Social Presence
E-commerce websites lack physical location, and that’s their reason to rely on the digital world, which could be better than letting your presence be felt through social media channels.
- Study your audience and see what channels they spend most of their time in.
- Make sure to be in those channels where your target audience resides.
- Have a social media identity and a plan. Make sure to check if your account is complete with a proper description, contact, and link to your website.
- Make sure to publish periodically and acquire business privileges. You can even set up the shopping feature on Instagram.
Remember, your social media profile is a doorway to your brand, and you want customers to visit here. Moreover, if your social media profile is not up to the mark, influencers won’t be willing to collaborate with you too. Hence, you would need to up your social media game.
8. Use Specific Code For Influencers
An influencer talking about a product will throw a code at you through which you can avail a discount. This method is one of the cheapest tricks in the market to leverage your customer’s fan base.
An influencer would first promote a product that would then be followed by this unique code that could take the customers to the door of a discount at the e-commerce website. A study noted that 70% of Americans believe that finding discounts was important to them. You could also get some visitors to your site when people would come to check whether the codes are working.
People love discounts, and hence you could easily track the progress of your campaign, targeting specific influencers to see whose code was used the most. This will also give you a fair idea of which influencer gives the highest ROI.
While creating a code, make sure to include the name of the influencer to connect with his/her audience base and make them attractive with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters. Above all, make them short, sweet, and easy to remember.
9. Increase Your Influencer-Related Content
Influencers ooze authenticity, and that is their vantage point. Drawing on their own experiences, they speak to a niche audience and create content that people can relate to. Influencers can greatly help you to pump up your content strategy. So, decide with your influencer beforehand that they would republish your content. You can reshare the influencer content on your profile and also on relevant product pages on your e-commerce site. Then, you can use them as social proof for people to refer to through product ratings and reviews.
E-commerce brands can use influencer marketing to leverage the phenomena of the advent of social media to increase brand awareness. Studies have continuously shown that more than 70-80% of people buy an item after seeing their favourite influencer recommend a product. If Content is the king, authenticity is the whole kingdom, and influencers rule that kingdom. Currently, Influencer marketing is the talk of the town. With an ample number of influencers on social media, brands are associating more with them to get the reach and growth their business might need. No matter what your business type is whether it’s retail, B2B business or e-commerce, collaborating with an influencer can definitely help you generate more revenue than usual. Since an influencer is closely connected with its audience, it ensures that they reach a relevant audience. Make sure to visit this kingdom once.
Being a leading global influencer marketing agency, we, at Confluencr, have closely studied the influencer marketing industry and have helped a wide array of brands to craft content-driven influencer marketing campaigns. With a striking 15000+ influencer network and 500+ content-driven brand campaigns, we have worked for 200+ leading brands across India. Being old players of this game, we can help you craft an effective influencer marketing strategy for your e-commerce brand. Got questions? Reach out to us at [email protected] and we shall get right back to you!